Google is doing everything possible to coerce its users to join Google+, its latest social networking platform. The plugs for Google+ have been anything but subtle and are displayed on Google’s homepage with a call-to-action. New Gmail accounts even come with automatic Google+ registration.
Ever since Google introduced its Google Plus Your World in January with integrated Google+ results into your search, businesses have been questioning how the lack of a Google+ presence could affect their organic search results. Ultimately, if you don’t have a Google+ page, your placement for various search terms may suffer.
A rapid change by Google’s search algorithm is nothing new, but the introduction of Google+ has created a new twist. You must know a thing or two about social media marketing to get better search results. On the positive side, Google has provided all of us a free opportunity to boost our SEO and separate ourselves from our competitors who are reluctant to dive into Google+ and all it has to offer.
First Step: Setup a Google+ Page
Setting up a Google+ account for your business is fairly simple. Just click Here to get started.
Step 2: Get In As Many Circles as Possible
This part is going to require more work. To start of, put as many people inside your circles as possible. Try adding individuals within the same industry as you, customers, referral partners, local community members, even your competitors. Unfortunately, you can not add yourself into someone else’s circles, they have to add you, but making people aware of your page is certainly the best place to start. Include a link to your Google+ page in all online and offline marketing materials such as an email signature, business cards, and your website.
Just don’t get desperate and buy into the idea of buying Google+ fans. According to Erin Everhart, director of web and social media for 352 Media Group, buying Google+ fans can be picked up by Google’s search algorithm and result in a lower search profile.
Step 3: Add Quality Content to Your Page Rich with Keywords
Work on adding content to your page that is rich with the keywords you are targeting to drive search traffic. Keep in mind, keyword use and keyword variation should be natural and not overstuffed. Don’t try taking the easy way out and listing as many keywords as possible.
Time your posts in the best way possible to post about relevant topics. Sparks, a feature provided by Google+, will automatically load videos and articles from the Internet to your stream. By setting keyword searches in Sparks, you will be able to see who else is using a specific term and what they are saying about it. This can be an extremely useful tool to help you create more relevant posts.
Step 4: Use the +1 Button
As you begin to +1 other pages you will start to notice more and more profiles of your Google+ friends coming up in searches. There can be a huge upside to clicking that free button. According to research done by a company called SEO Effect, getting 72 people to +1 its page resulted in a 20% increase in click-through rates.
Although the integration between Google search and Google+ is still very new, there is a strong case to be made for taking advantage of what Google+ has to offer. With the support of Google and 100 million users there is not much that could stop the growth of Google+ at this point. As a business owner it is time to stop putting off the integration of Google+ into your marketing strategy.